Your Ultimate Guide to Raising Happy Kids in Nassau County

Your Ultimate Guide to Raising Happy Kids in Nassau County

Whether you just moved to Nassau County, Long Island, or you just became a parent (congrats!), here's everything you need to know about raising kids in this part of Long Island. From Garden City to Glen Cove, Hempstead, Mineola, Oyster Bay, and beyond, we've got you covered for fun things to do, local family travel, area schools, family doctors and dentists, birthday party places, kids' summer camps, and much more.


Living in Nassau County with kids can seem like the best of both worlds: stellar parks, beaches, and playgrounds, great schools that characterize life in the suburbs, and the cultural mecca of Manhattan an easy train ride away. Neighboring Suffolk beckons with even more family-friendly options.

Here we present your introduction to family life in Nassau—consider this your cheat sheet to finding what you want for your kids when you want it, a virtual table of contents to all of NYMetroParents’ articles and tools that will help you be the best, most well-informed parent in Nassau. We’ve got everything you need to know about raising a child in Nassau County! 

Family Fun in Nassau

We take family fun time pretty seriously, which means we’re constantly updating our Calendar of Events with fun and low-cost things to do every day with kids in Nassau and the entire New York metro area. The calendar is searchable, too, so it’s easy to find the events your family is most interested in, or you can head straight to our Editors Picks page to see where we’ll be taking our own kids this month. And hey, living on Long Island ain’t cheap, right? That’s why we round up the best FREE events for you every month.

Want our top event picks delivered to your email inbox every week (just in time to plan a fun weekend)? Then sign up for our family activities newsletter.

If you’re looking for something specific, our family fun guides will point you in the right direction. Here are some of our perennial favorites:


Kid-Friendly Museums 


Horseback Riding

Zoos, Nature Centers, and Botanical Gardens 


Or maybe you just want to know the best things to do every season right near home? We’ve got you covered there, too: Our editors scoured the county from New Hyde Park to Montauk to find the 100 must-do events on Long Island throughout the year, including 20 awesome annual events in each season—winter, spring, summer, and fall!


Family Getaways Near Nassau County

Sure, we have everything we need in Nassau, but sometimes a day trip or weekend away will do a family good. Lucky for us, there are many places within easy traveling distance that are worth braving city traffic (or taking the ferry to Connecticut from Port Jefferson). Here are a few of our best bets:

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, CT

The Bronx Zoo

Sesame Place in Pennsylvania

National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum

Historic Hyde Park

The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens

See the full list of family outings here.


If you’re craving some time in nature, check out our seasonal guides to fun on farms:  berry picking (summer), apple picking and pumpkin picking (fall), and where to cut your own Christmas trees in December. There’s even a zipline and ropes course park that is sure to wow your kids. 

Thinking about sending your kids out of the local area for summer camp? Our camp guide to the New York City area includes nearby sleep-away camps along with specialty camps and traditional day camps.


Choosing Classes, Sports, and Camps

When they’re not in the classroom, we schedule our kids’ time around classes, sports, and other extracurricular activities during the school year and camp during the summer. There are so many wonderful options in this awesome county of ours, but we’ll help you choose the best fit for your child. Check out our guides to:

Sports Programs for Kids in Nassau 

After-School and Weekend Classes for Kids

Summer Camps in Nassau County

Of course, those extracurriculars look good on a college application, but the last thing we want to do is overschedule our kids. We’ve got expert tips for avoiding burnout and finding balance.


Planning a Birthday Party in Nassau County

Even if your kid has a summer birthday and you have a nice-size backyard, our weather grows ever more unpredictable. If you don’t want to chance a rained-out barbecue (or don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of an indoor party), follow the lead of many of your neighbors and consider a party held outside the home. Nassau offers every type of cool party place: play spaces, theaters, bowling alleys, museums, craft havens, and more. You’ll find plenty of fun party places, party entertainment, specialty cake shops, party stores, and more on our site to help you plan the best party in the neighborhood. Plus, check out the party tips and inspiration section of our site for everything from fun party favors to birthday cake recipes.


Nassau Schools and Tutoring Services

While Nassau County is home to some of the best public schools around, you may need to weigh a few decisions. We’ve got advice for you every step of the way, from choosing the right preschool philosophy for your child (Montessori, Waldorf, play-based…) to considering a private or religious school. Plus, we’ve got expert tips if you’re searching for tutors, learning centers, or the best school for a child with special needs. And check out our archive of education articles for year-round advice updated regularly.


Keeping Your Family Healthy

It’s important to have a family doctor and a team of health care professionals nearby that you trust with your family’s well being. Search our site for:

Doctors and Dentists

Urgent Care Centers 

…and more family health services and providers

Also, check out our archive of health articles for a wealth of advice that will help you make the best choices for your family, such as: 

How to Know When to Go to the ER or Urgent Care

10 Tips to Keep Your Kid’s Teeth Healthy

How to Know If Your Child Is Getting Enough Sleep


Finding Childcare in Nassau County

As a busy parent (and even more so if you’re a busy commuting parent), you need a nanny, babysitter, or other caregiver that you can trust. Use our site to find: 

Nanny and Babysitting Services

Day Care and Child Care Centers


Finding Friends and Parent Support

If you’re new to Nassau County—or just new to your town—you might be looking for a support network of like-minded parents to answer burning questions like: Which pizzeria is the best? Which of the nearby public pools is the most little-kid friendly? Where can we go sledding on a snow day? (Actually, we’ve got the answer to that last one right here.)

Parent Support Groups in Nassau

Support Groups for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

Plus, read essays by other area parents who know exactly what you’re going through. 

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Getting to Know NYMetroParents

Did you find what you’re looking for above? Feel free to email us your feedback and questions to [email protected].

And remember, NYMetroParents keeps the conversation going beyond our comprehensive website. Make sure to pick up our print magazines (find a copy near you), and join our virtual community on Facebook and Twitter, where the comments are lively and the sneak-peeks are constantly coming!